The Adventurous Lectionary – The Second Sunday of Advent – December 6, 2015

The Adventurous Lectionary – The Second Sunday of Advent – December 6, 2015 Malachi 3:1-4 Luke 1:68-79 Philippians 1:3-11 Luke 3:1-6 Advent is a time that joins patience and restlessness. We are waiting and waiting isn’t easy. We want Christmas now! We want fulfillment now! We want spiritual growth now! We want the world to [Read More…]

Advent without Guarantees

Advent without Guarantees We who must die demand a miracle. How could the Eternal do a temporal act, The Infinite become a finite fact? Nothing can save us that is possible: We who must die demand a miracle. (From W.H. Auden, “For the Time Being”) These words from W.H. Auden’s Christmas Oratorio, written in the [Read More…]

God’s Gentle Providence: Dialoging with Thomas Oord’s “The Uncontrolling Love of God”

God’s Gentle Providence: Dialoging with Thomas Oord’s “The Uncontrolling Love of God” Over the past few years, I have referred to God’s presence in our lives and in the world as “gentle providence.” God is at work in the world, seeking abundant life. But, God’s power is relational and persuasive and not unilateral and coercive. [Read More…]

The Adventurous Lectionary – The First Sunday in Advent – November 29, 2015

The Adventurous Lectionary – The First Sunday in Advent – November 29, 2015 Jeremiah 33:14-16 Psalm 25:1-10 I Thessalonians 3:9-13 Luke 21:25-36 How do we feel as we look toward the future? Do we see continuity or discontinuity? Do we expect gradual evolution or cataclysmic change? Today’s scriptures suggest both options, and whether the result [Read More…]

The Adventurous Lectionary – Christ the King Sunday – November 22, 2015

The Adventurous Lectionary – Christ the King Sunday – November 22, 2015 2 Samuel 23:1-7 Psalm 132:1-12 Revelation 1:4b-8 John 18:33-37 Today’s scriptures invite us to consider God’s relationship to politics and culture. If Christ is “king” or “ruler,” what does that mean in real life? Does the way of Christ have sovereignty in the [Read More…]

The Adventurous Lectionary – The Twenty Fifth Sunday after Pentecost – November 15, 2015

The Adventurous Lectionary – The Twenty Fifth Sunday after Pentecost – November 15, 2015 I Samuel 1:4-20, Psalm 16, Hebrews 10:11-25, Mark 13:1-8 Today’s readings describe answers to prayer and future hope and challenge. Despite life’s difficulties, God makes a way where there is no way. What are we to make of Hannah’s story? Infertility [Read More…]

The Adventurous Lectionary – Twenty-fourth Sunday after Pentecost – November 8 ,2015

The Adventurous Lectionary – Twenty-fourth Sunday after Pentecost – November 8 ,2015 Ruth 1:1-18; 3:1-5; 4:14-17 Psalm 127 Hebrews 9:24-28 Mark 12:38-44 I believe that context is important in preaching and scripture study. Ruth 1:1-18 was read as part of last week’s lectionary , if the preacher chose to focus on the lectionary readings for [Read More…]

The Adventurous Lectionary – All Saints Day – November 1, 2015

The Adventurous Lectionary – All Saints Day – November 1, 2015 Isaiah 25:6-9 Psalm 24 Revelation 21:1-6a John 11:32-44 This Sunday we celebrate the interplay of tradition and transformation. We remember the saints, those who were faithful to God throughout history and in our congregations, and commit ourselves to embody the living thoughts, values, and [Read More…]

Walking with Jesus: Reflections on Danielle Shroyer’s “Where Jesus Prayed”

In her new book, Where Jesus Prayed, Danielle Shroyer takes us on a spiritual walk with the Lord’s Prayer as her companion. She reminds us that faith is always on the move, and on the move, she discovers new dimensions of this ancient prayer, often lost when we repeat it sitting in church. [Read more…]

Hospice and Healing: A Response to Janet Wehr’s ‘Peaceful Passages’

This post is part of a roundtable conversation for the Patheos Book Club on the new book, Peaceful Passages: A Hospice Nurse’s Stories of Dying Well, by Janet Wehr, RN. As a pastor, I have recommended hospice to congregants and friends for nearly thirty years. There comes a time when we need to let go [Read More…]


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